[env-trinity] Fresno Bee
bwl3 at comcast.net
Mon Aug 24 17:20:29 PDT 2009
Fresno County jobless rate drops in July
Seasonal growth in farm work, food industry cited.
Seasonal job growth in farm employment and food manufacturing fueled a
slight drop in Fresno County's unemployment rate last month, despite an
overall decline in the number of wage-paying jobs.
The county's jobless rate in July was 15%, down from 15.3% in June,
according to figures made public Friday by the state Employment Development
Elsewhere in the Valley, the unemployment rate was down in Kings County and
unchanged in Madera County but rose in both Tulare and Merced counties.
The summer harvest season accounted for about 3,000 additional jobs in
Fresno County, state labor market analyst Steven Gutierrez said. Another 800
jobs were added in manufacturing, Gutierrez said, all in food manufacturing.
But those gains were outpaced by job losses in other sectors, especially in
government employment -- also due to seasonal patterns, Gutierrez said.
Local governments -- cities, counties and other local agencies -- lost about
3,600 jobs, while state and federal government agencies shed a combined
1,200 jobs in July.
Overall, EDD analysts estimated about 348,000 jobs among all industries in
Fresno County in July, down 1,600 from June's estimate. The job-count
figures are based on surveys of employers.
One surprise was the loss of an estimated 5,200 farm jobs in Tulare County
in what is typically the peak of harvest season throughout the San Joaquin
Valley. But while the county has lost farm jobs between June and July in all
but one of the last nine years, this year's drop -- from 47,600 jobs in June
to 42,400 in July -- is the largest month-to-month decline in that period.
"That surprised me too, because I went back and looked at the numbers," said
Sheila Urdesich, an EDD labor market analyst.
"But the good news is, there are still 1,800 more farm jobs than a year
ago," Urdesich said.
Across the five-county region, about 136,600 people in the labor force are
out of work.
That's about 1,300 fewer than last month, but nearly 47,000 more than were
unemployed a year ago. Jobless rates in each of the five counties are about
5 percentage points above ahead of where they were in July 2008.
An idiosyncracy of the state's figures is there are two sets of numbers: one
estimating the number of wage- and salary-paying jobs, the second
calculating the number of people employed.
The two figures don't necessarily match because some people may hold more
than one job.
The estimates of paying jobs don't count the self-employed, unpaid family
help, household domestic workers or workers on strike, but those people do
count as employed when calculating the overall unemployment rate.
People who have left the labor force for whatever reason -- discouraged
workers who have stopped looking for jobs, retirees or students who returned
to school -- are not part of the unemployment calculations.
California's statewide unemployment rate was up for the month, climbing to
11.9%, compared to 11.6% in June.
Nationally, the unemployment rate in July was 9.7%.
Byron Leydecker, JcT
Chair, Friends of Trinity River
PO Box 2327
Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327
415 383 4810 land
415 519 4810 cell
<mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net
<mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org
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